Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st Test, Galle, 1st day November 15, 2010

Gayle takes a siesta

Plays of the Day from the first day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies in Galle
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The unintentional batting innovation of the day
Chris Gayle has made a reputation for himself as one of the best T20 batsmen on the planet, but his capacity for finding boundaries generally has more to do with power than touch. Not so today, as the West Indian unfurled a cricket stroke that might have impressed Dilshan himself. Faced with a short ball from Dammika Prasad, Gayle shaped to pull, but decided against it at the last moment. The ball then thudded into the back of the bat which ramped it high over the keeper's head to the unprotected boundary. Wonder if he practices it.

The mid-afternoon siesta of the day
Scoring a Test match hundred in the Sri Lankan heat is hard work. And no one seems to have appreciated this more than Chris Gayle. Upon reaching triple figures with his second six of the over, he acknowledged his teammates applause, then promptly lay down in the middle of the pitch, limbs outstretched and eyes towards the heavens. I'd heard he was laid back, but frankly this was a little ridiculous.

The non-event of the day
Following the extravagant celebrations after reaching his century, the crowd was itching to see what would happen when Gayle reached 200. Would he lie in the middle of the pitch for twice as long? Would he call for a pillow and a teddy bear and settle in for a proper snooze? Alas, it was not to be. A smile and a simple wave of the bat later, he was taking guard again.

The ball retrieval effort of the day
With Gayle in full flight, the ball boys at the boundary had plenty to do. But when Suraj Randiv was launched way out of the stands, no one expected that particular ball to be returned to the field of play, least of all the umpires who called for a new ball to be delivered. But lo! The ball, stunningly, was found and returned. Kudos to the kid who ran halfway across town to fetch it.

The false alarm of the day
In non- Chris Gayle news, Sri Lanka thought they had Darren Bravo on 15, when he drove an overpitched delivery square of cover, where it hit the shin of the man fielding at silly point and popped into his hands. The Sri Lanka players were busy congratulating themselves on their good fortune, but replays showed the ball had bounced just before hitting the fielder.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here